Tesla stops taking Bitcoin for vehicle purchases, citing environmental damage


Tesla has stopped accepting bitcoin as payment for its cars out of concern it will contribute to greater fossil fuel consumption, CEO Elon Musk said. tweeted Wednesday. Tesla had only started accepting bitcoin at the end of March.

Musk also said Tesla will no longer sell more of the $ 1.5 billion worth of bitcoin it purchased earlier this year. Tesla sold some of that bitcoin in the first quarter of 2021, ultimately adding to the company’s quarterly earnings numbers.

Tesla says it would resume adoption of bitcoin (and consider selling more of it) once the process of mining bitcoin “moves to more renewable energy,” the statement said. The company is also looking at other cryptocurrencies that use <1% of Bitcoin's energy / transaction. At the time of writing, Tesla's website indicates that it still accepts Bitcoin for transactions.

“Cryptocurrency is a good idea on many levels and we believe it has a promising future, but this should not come at the expense of the environment,” Musk said.

Bitcoin consumes the same amount of electricity every year as the Netherlands, according to one estimate. All that energy has a huge ecological footprint. And there is no easy fix as the blockchain on which the cryptocurrency is built is intentionally energy inefficient. That clashes with Tesla’s mission to “accelerate the global transition to renewable energy”.

Musk has also hyped another cryptocurrency, Dogecoin, in which Tesla has not invested. Musk has named Dogecoin, which was invented as a joke to satirize bitcoin, his favorite cryptocurrency and “the crypto of the people.The cryptocurrency’s value slumped after Musk called it a “hustle and bustle.” Saturday Night Live. Bitcoin’s value is similarly down about 4 percent after today’s Musk tweet, to $ 52,593.46 at 6:21 PM ET from $ 54,829.14 at 6:06 PM, according to Coindesk.

With reporting by Justine Calma and Elizabeth Lopatto